Sometimes I get messages in my meditations that are muddled and sometimes they come in boldface, 14 point font. Yesterday was one of those days in which the message was loud and clear: “Resist nothing. Resist no-thing. When we become no thing, we can become anything. This is true freedom.”

This reminded me of an exchange I had once with a Zen Buddhist monk who asked me, “Laura, if you could be anywhere, where would you be?” I replied, “Here and now.” And then he said, “When you accept the moment, you have total freedom.”

All the spiritual teachings point to the “now.” They say that everything we desire -- peace, joy, freedom, abundance, and love -- are in the present moment. So why do we resist the “now” if what we want is in the “now”? I think the answer is: desire. When we desire, we’re not here --we’re over there. Desire moves us away from the present moment. It says that what we need is in the future or in the past.

The Buddha said that what prevented him from attaining enlightenment was that he was too determined to get it. In other words, he desired it too much.

One of my favorite books on this subject is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle succinctly distills principles of Eastern spiritual wisdom in such a way that is accessible to a broad audience. Furthermore, he is one of the rare teachers in the West who speaks about an experience that he has actually experienced. So his words seem to embody the stillness and peace about which he speaks.

To stay in the “now” he says, we need to cultivate a state of being -- not doing. When you accept the “now” -- you are in a state of being. When you don’t accept the now, you have moved into a state of doing called resistance. The cultivation of a state of being -- not doing --is a difficult concept for our culture to accept because we’re conditioned to be so achievement-oriented. We measure our success and self-worth according to what we have accomplished. Yet, the more you are in the state of being, the more you will get done!

“So does this mean we’re not supposed to have goals?” As a spiritual life coach, this is a question I get asked often. It’s important to have goals. If we aren’t clear about where we want to go, our lives will be dictated by our subconscious desires. And, as a result, we may end up somewhere we don’t want to be.

The trick is to have goals and to aspire towards the life that you want while maintaining contentment for the life that you have now. Without contentment, you won’t magnetize the goals because you’ll be in resistance. In the extreme, resistance takes the form of fear, depression, and anxiety, among others. On a subtler level, resistance takes the form of boredom, dissatisfaction, or simply a desire for more of something. If you aren’t walking around in a state of total bliss, you’re in some state of resistance.

The irony is that in order to get what you want, you have to not want it. In other words, you can’t be in a state of want. You just need to “be.”

So go be!

© 2007 Laura Svolos

Author's Bio: 

Laura Svolos is a Swami of Kriya Yoga, a spiritual life coach and teacher, and an energy practitioner of sound & color therapy. For those interested in learning more about her coaching and how she helps individuals to apply spiritual wisdom in their lives, she offers free initial consultations. You may contact her at